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Cartwright, Nancy. Causal Laws and Effective Strategies
1979, Nous 13(4): 419-437.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by: Daniel Kokotajlo

Summary: Argues for the irreducibility of causal laws to laws of association, probabilistic or deterministic. Statistical or probabilistic analyses of causality, which typically require that the cause increase or alter the probability of the effect, cannot succeed because causes increase the probability of their effects only in situations that exhibit causal homogeneity with respect to that effect (Simpson’s paradox). This condition must enter the definition of an effective strategy, which is why causal laws are ineliminable for scientifically grounded interventions in nature.

Comment: I would recommend this as a further reading for a unit on causation and the laws of nature. It would be especially useful if situated within a metaphysics course where students have already come across general reductive accounts - e.g. reductive accounts of modality.

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Paul, L. A., Hall, Edward J. (Hall, Ned). Causation: A User’s Guide
2013, Oxford University Press UK.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Tyron Goldschmidt

Publisher’s Note: Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User’s Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples as landmarks. They clarify the central themes of the debate about causation, and cover questions about causation involving omissions or absences, preemption and other species of redundant causation, and the possibility that causation is not transitive. Along the way, Paul and Hall examine several contemporary proposals for analyzing the nature of causation and assess their merits and overall methodological cogency.The book is designed to be of value both to trained specialists and those coming to the problem of causation for the first time. It provides the reader with a broad and sophisticated view of the metaphysics of the causal relation.

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